Advice for HR graduates

November 24, 2017

If you are reading this, you will be starting your job search for your first ever HR role. 

Our first piece of guidance for you is to ensure your CV is up-to-date (see our CV guide) and that you have a LinkedIn account fully populated with what you have been doing so far and that you are looking for a new opportunity. Speak to a recruitment consultant and let them know of your situation so that you are ready to be contacted for any position that may arise. 

If you haven’t done so already, start following some of the companies that you are interested in working for to find out a little more about them. There is no harm in reaching out to those in a senior position to ask for mentorship. This can be really beneficial for both parties. 

Imagine yourself 18 months from now. How do yourself progressing in this time and where would you like to be in your career? Write down these goals and remind yourself of them regularly.

It is important for you to spread your net wide so that you have a good idea of what company you would like to work for, how big a team you would be comfortable in joining and how achievable your long-term goals are. There is no saying that you won’t be working in your chosen sector for the rest of your working career, but make sure you have a good overview of what is out there. 

Keep in mind your ideal position but also look into the possibility of apprenticeships, internships or graduate schemes. These can be really rewarding, look great on your CV and could lead to a permanent position. 

Think about contracting, it isn’t for everyone but if you are really stuck on deciding on what you want to do, it might be worthwhile having the opportunity to sit in on these departments to get a bit more experience.

You need to know what it is you expect from your potential employer in return to keep your vision focused. Different companies offer different schemes internally such as promotion track, salaries and benefits. Speak to a recruitment consultant about what your priorities are, they will be able to best guide you.  

Ensure that if you are looking to move abroad you would be able to secure a Working Visa for that country. Some companies offer sponsorship but make sure you do your research beforehand.

Always be positive during interviews as they are a 2-way street. It is just as important for you as it is for the interviewer to find out if this is the right fit for everyone involved. Don’t be disheartened if you didn’t get a call back from a company that you really liked, this could be a great sign that you like that kind of business and give you more of an idea of who you would like to work for. 

Quick tip: Always invest in a nice suit for interviews, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed! The recruiter or HR division of the company you are interviewing for will be able to let you know what is appropriate for the company you are visiting.

It can be a long-winded experience first time round but the feeling of securing your first ever role will soon help those to evaporate. 

We are always happy to help, please get in touch with our consultants direct for any advice or guidance you require. Otherwise, we wish you the very best of luck in your job search!

If you didn’t find what you were looking for, why not read our other HR advice blog posts?